Alternative Dispute Resolution
This policy outlines the procedures and establishes responsibility of personnel of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Support Command & Fort Lee (USACASCOM&FL) and Tenant Activities under this ADR or early resolution process for EEO precomplaints. USACASCOM&FL offers mediation as the alternative dispute resolution process to resolve EEO complaints.
- Early resolution of EEO pre-complaints.
- Establish a fair, non-adversarial process for such resolutions.
- Offer an alternative to potential litigation.
- Avoid potentially huge outlays of resources.
- Improve work relationships through open communication and understanding.
Mediation Frequently Asked Questions
What is Mediation?
Mediation is the intervention into a dispute by an impartial and neutral third party who assists the disputing parties in voluntarily reaching a settlement. This third party, called the mediator, assists in clarifying issues, identifying underlying causes, and arriving at appropriate remedies to resolve disputes. The mediator does not impose resolution on the parties, but works to improve communications to guide the parties toward voluntary resolution.
Who May Participate in Mediation?
Department of Defense employees, applicants for employment, and former employees who allege discrimination on matters concerning their employment may be offered or may request mediation. Participation is voluntary.
When is Mediation Initiated?
Mediation is usually offered within 20 days of the initiation of EEO counseling. The aggrieved will be allowed a brief time in which to accept or reject the offer of mediation. If mediation is rejected, the EEO counseling process will continue. If mediation is accepted, the EEO counseling will be held in abeyance to allow the mediation process to take place.
How Does Mediation Work?
During mediation, parties will be provided the opportunity for joint discussion, as well as individual and confidential discussion, with the mediator. With the exception of the settlement agreement, the mediator will not retain records of the mediation. The mediator will not willingly testify for or against either party in an administrative or court proceeding regarding information unique to the mediation conference. Unless obligated by law, such as in criminal activity, the mediator will not divulge information conveyed in confidence by either party.
What Happens When Mediation is Completed?
If a dispute is resolved through mediation, a written settlement agreement will be signed by both parties and EEO counseling will be terminated. If a dispute is not resolved, EEO counseling will continue and the aggrieved will be provided the right to file a formal complaint.
How Does Mediation Benefit Me?
- MEDIATION utilizes an impartial third party to assist the involved parties in resolving the dispute.
- MEDIATION encourages open communication, often improving or mending broken working relationships.
- MEDIATION allows parties to resolve disputes themselves, thereby avoiding lengthy and expensive litigation or administrative procedures.
- MEDIATION results in a win/win situation, especially where it results in a mutual and voluntary settlement to a dispute. Even if mediation does not result in resolution, open discussion often results in better understanding and better working relationships.